UPDATE: New A5-M1 link road and M1 junction 11A open as Chris Evans dedicates BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show to Dunstable

Andrew Selous at the new bypass link road today.
Andrew Selous at the new bypass link road today.

It’s a proud day for South Bedfordshire as the new A5-M1 link road and new M1 junction 11A opened to traffic this morning, the news even getting a special mention on the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show.

The 2.8 mile dual carriageway, which was open by 6am, has become part of the A5, while the the new M1 junction 11A, which connects the new road and the new Woodside Link road to the M1, also opened at the same time.

A5-M1 link road and new M1 junction 11A. Photo by Highways England

A5-M1 link road and new M1 junction 11A. Photo by Highways England

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for South West Bedfordshire, Andrew Selous, said: “This is a fantastic day for us locally. We have needed this road for so long. It was talked about before the Second World War. When Markyate was bypassed in 1959, the Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council said then, ‘I am sure that Dunstable’s Bypass won’t be far behind”!

“This road will relieve congestion in Dunstable and Houghton Regis as well as villages like Totternhoe and Kensworth.

“It will also greatly speed up journey times from Leighton Buzzard to the M1. The air quality in Dunstable and Houghton Regis will also be greatly improved from the reduction in HGV traffic through both towns”.

BBC Radio 2’s The Chris Evans Breakfast Show also joined in the celebrations, as Chris dedicated his show to “the good people of Dunstable”.

A5-M1 link road and new M1 junction 11A. Photo by Highways England

A5-M1 link road and new M1 junction 11A. Photo by Highways England

Speaking live on air shortly after 7am this morning, Chris told his listeners: “The good people of Dunstable this morning are benefitting from the opening of a brand new junction on the M1, a brand new one, junction 11A, linking the M1 to the A5...a brand new 2.8 miles of gorgeous, shiny, glistening dual carriageway of tarmac!”

The team also received a message from a listener called ‘Chris’ who contacted the BBC with the message: “Just heard the news about the new junction in Dunstable.

“I drive past it every day to and from work and this is the best news of the year!”

The scheme includes two other new junctions and six new bridges.

The lane restrictions on the M1 which were in place during the construction of the new road will be restored to full capacity.

The national speed limit will apply on the new, dualled section of the A5.

Drivers are asked to take extra care as the road layout has changed with the introduction of new slip roads and the new junction. The new road replaces a section of the A5 through Dunstable which is being handed over to Central Bedfordshire Council and Hertfordshire County Council.

Some minor work including the completion of new sign installation will need to take place after the new road is opened and the old section handed over to the council.

Single lanes will be closed for this to be done.

What are your thoughts about the A5-M1 link? Email: editorial@lutonnews.co.uk

For the information about the A5-M1 Link scheme, visit: http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A5-M1-Link-Dunstable-Northern-Bypass